Decorated Candlewick - Part I - Gold Decorations

by Virginia Scott
Glass Review - January/February 1983

Gold Decorated Candlewick I am continuing my series on Candlewick but have decided that the title, "Decorated Candlewick" is more appropriate for the remaining articles. In this part of the series, I will be discussing such things as gold plating and encrustation, colored beading, hand-painting and cuttings on Candlewick.


In 1977 I visited Imperial Glass Corporation and was allowed to look through the Candlewick catalogs and other Candlewick materials. In a scrapbook of Candlewick advertisements, I found an ad from Hammacher Schlemmer, New York, which had appeared in Gourmet Magazine, October, 1943. This ad featured the fabulous gold-plated punch bowl set shown at the top of our illustration. The ad text read "For you to cherish ... Imperial Candlewick Gold-On-Gold Punch Set ... etched wild rose pattern, encrusted with hand-burnished inlaid gold on glass ... with gold knobs outlining its graceful curves and cup handles." The 1943 price for the set was $125 plus tax!

The gold punch bowl set is probably the most spectacular Candlewick ever produced. It consists of a 400/20 Punch Bowl on a 400/128B flat bottomed Belied Bowl base, 12 400/37 cups and a glass ladle which I do not think was gold plated. Even the inside of the bowl and cups were gold. It has been determined that the gold encrustation was put on at Imperial. Only a few such sets have been reported.

Another gold-on-glass piece I saw illustrated at Imperial was a large gold-covered Candlewick plate which had an eagle engraved in the center. I was unable at the time to get a copy of the picture so I have no illustration. It should be mentioned that no gold candlewick is shown in the catalogs. Although collectors are very good to report their unusual finds to me, no one has reported the eagle plate.

I once wrote Miss Lucile Kennedy of Imperial and asked if she could send a listing of gold Candlewick items. She replied that it would take too much research to find the items but that she did recall some of them. She listed the punch set, 400/10D dinner plate, 400/48 compote (No. 2) and 400/98 Party plate (No. 3) wich is oval and has a "seat" to hold the cup. A Rhode Island collector has reported finding four of the gold party plates with the wild rose design.

Mary Wetzel, another Candlewick researcher, found an interesting colored transparency at Imperial. When developed, the picture showed a party table for the 50th anniversary of a Bellaire couple. The table was set with gold-on-glass Candlewick including the gold punch set, 36 or more gold cups, four stacks of at least 12 oval party plates, two 400/48 compotes, a large gold plate and an oval Candlewick dish, probably an oval platter. Mary has also reported seeing, at Bellaire, some other gold covered Candlewick items which are owned by a former Imperial employee who said he made them at the plant in the early 1940's. These items are two 400/107 bud vases, a 400/40/0 basket and a 400/188 Ivy bowl, all of which were etched with flowers and gilded with bright, not burnished, gold.

A Pet Milk magazine ad, in December, 1956, Better Homes and Gardens, shows a gold covered 400/45 Candlewick compote, no design (No. 6). This piece has not been authenticated by Imperial so far as I know.

A few other gold Candlewick items have been reported to me by collectors. A California collector sent a picture of a 400/122/29 Individual Sugar-Creamer Tray set which is covered with gold and etched with a bird and flower design. This set has the "even rims" characteristic of Candlewick sugars and creamers made before 1944 (No. 5). Several collectors have found gold, wild rose etched 400/287F 6" Fan vases (No. 4). These vases were not made until around 1950. We no not have definite dates for how long gold-on-glass items were made by imperial.

Note to collectors and dealers: If any of you have found gold-on-glass Candlewick pieces, please write me about your items, giving measurements, descriptions and numbers if known. Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.